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Most parents would agree that chocolate, marshmallow treats, and jelly beans don’t make a good breakfast, but that’s what most children eat on Easter morning. Though occasional treats are never a bad thing, parents would do their children a favor by limiting unhealthy treats. America’s children are getting fatter According to the CDC, the childhood obesity rate in the US has tripled in the last 30 years, settling in at 19.6% in 2008. 31% of New Jersey’s children are considered obese according to the National Survey of Children’s Health. These children would benefit from a morning focused on fun, not candy.

5 ways to celebrate Easter morning without candy

1. Fill plastic eggs with treats that aren’t edible. Young children will love eggs packed with stickers, temporary tattoos, fun erasers, and magic capsules.

2. Make your egg hunt a money hunt. Teens and tweens will love searching for eggs stashed with money. Fill most of the eggs with coins. Then fill a couple eggs with dollar bills. Save a ten or a twenty dollar bill for one egg. Hide it well and lay down the rules for the kids in the morning. Enjoy the hunt!

3. Fill baskets with practical, budget-friendly items. Older children will respond well to a basket filled with a favorite shampoo, soap, lip balm, nail polish, and lotion. Note cards, pens, pencils, a thumb drive, and a trendy headband are also good options. Young children will delight in bubble bath, bath toys, crayons, chalk, paint, paint brushes, rocket balloons, and barrettes.

4. Add reading material to Easter baskets. For the younger set, encourage reading with small board books and soft cover picture books that can easily be placed in a basket. Magazines and paperbacks make good choices for older children.

5. Include fun, trendy accessories in your baskets. Summer is coming. Make some fun, yet practical, purchases to add personality to your Easter baskets. Socks, hats, sunglasses, flip flops, belts, earrings, necklaces, and bathing suits are sure to be hits.

Traditionally, a child’s Easter morning is focused on unhealthy sweets. Do your child a favor by shifting the focus away from candy. Filling baskets and eggs with small toys, accessories, and small, budget-friendly items will result in a healthier morning, devoid of sugar highs, sugar crashes, and belly aches.